One way to get a character into trouble

by kalbzayn on March 16, 2007

Do you have a character that you really love but can’t seem to find a way to get him in trouble and kick start the plot? Today, I was chit chatting with a coworker and funny/odd wild animal stories came up. I remembered a story that would make a decent way to kick start a plot conflict.

I lived in Monterey, CA for a couple years while I was in the Air Force. Rough assignment. We spend a lot of time walking on the beach.

One day, I was walking with a couple friends while eating an apple. Now, before my wife tells you that this is enough to prove that the rest of the story never happened, let me state for the record:

I do eat fruits from time to time and was in fact eating an apple at the time this story happened.

So, I’m finishing the apple and get tired of holding onto it and couldn’t find a garbage can. I figure apples are biodegradable and the fish and sea lions might enjoy munching on it. Without looking, I chuck it as far as I can into the Monterey Bay.

The apple arcs gracefully through the sky and hits a sea lion, who is asleep on a rock poking up through the water, squarely on the head. The sea lion falls off the rock into the ocean.

For my own sake, I assume that he swam away under water. I also felt really bad for accidentally beaning this poor beast, especially since they are pretty tightly protected by local laws.

A character in that story could have many things happen. A law enforcement officer could try to arrest him. The sea lion could rally some friends and storm the shore to seek revenge. The throw could have been on purpose and be a quick introduction into how nasty the character is.

I’m sure you could come up with something better.

Another fun Monterey fact. While living there, I heard that it was illegal for boat owners to chase sea lions away when they jumped onto the boats. The rule was put into place to protect the animals.

A lot, meaning most, of the boat owners would put these boards all over the floor of their boats. The boards had a bunch of nails poking upward. When the sea lion jumped aboard for a nap, the nails convinced the animal to sleep on a nearby rock instead.

If your character looks bored, have him look somewhere pretty normal and have something odd jump out at him. And when you do, can you bring your character over to take some of my characters out to play. They are just sitting around waiting for me to give them something to do.

Comments on this entry are closed.